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Making Yogurt at Home

I am a big fan of simple foods, made simply.  I was surprised to learn recently how easy it is to make delicious ricotta cheese at home.  While reading about how to make ricotta cheese I also found articles about making yogurt at home.  You can buy yogurt makers that are supposed to make the process very simple, but the directions using a crock pot seemed easy enough.   Making yogurt became another item on my list of things to do.

I have a crock pot that gets infrequent use, so I was ready to go.  You only need two ingredients.  It's hard to believe making yogurt could be so simple, but I was game to try it.  I loved the ricotta cheese I made at home so much I was hopeful the yogurt would be as good.

Here's what I did.

Making Yogurt In A Crock Pot
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt with live cultures
Method:
Turn a 4 quart crock pot on to low and pour in the milk. Heat the milk on the low setting for 2 ½ hours.


After 2 ½ hours, turn the crock pot off.  Unplug the pot and let the milk cool in the crock with the lid on for 3 hours.


  

After 3 hours, remove ½ cup of warmed milk and place in bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of yogurt with live active cultures and mix well.  Pour the mixture back in to the crock and whisk thoroughly.  Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot with a blanket or a couple of thick towels.


I wrapped my crock pot is a couple of very large beach towels.  Leave it overnight, about 8-12 hours.

The next morning I was anxious to see what I had. 

The mixture had definitely thickened.  You can see how creamy it was.  I thought it was a bit more watery than I wanted  so I tried straining it through cheesecloth set into a strainer.
That result was not really worth the trouble so I just mixed it all back together and scooped it into some mason jars that I had on hand.


I'm writing this after tasting my first dish of my homemade yogurt.  I mixed it with a 1/2 cup of pureed frozen strawberries, raspberries and blackberries and 1 tablespoon of Splenda.  It tasted great!

Cost to make 4 quarts of plain yogurt:
1/2 gallon of milk    $1.40  (I had purchased a gallon of whole milk for $2.39 at a wholesale club)
1/2 c. plain yogurt       .25  (on sale at the grocery store)
Total                      $1.65 = $.026 per ounce vs. $.06 per ounce for plain yogurt in the grocery store

All in all, I think this was a successful experiment. This is an inexpensive way to make a healthy, tasty yogurt.  I'm off to research dessert and main course recipes using plain yogurt now.

Have any of you made your own yogurt?  Do you have any tips to share?

Donna

Other related posts:
How To Make Ricotta Cheese At Home


Sources:  How To Make Yogurt Two Ways
You Can Make Yogurt In Your Crock pot

Comments

  1. I had a yogurt maker when I was in college (and it is still in the attic I am sure). It consisted of 4 containers with snap on covers that were placed in 4 insulated compartments. I mixed milk with commercial plain yogurt, filled/capped the containers, placed them in the compartments, and plugged the machine in. After an overnight incubation I had very good yogurt!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great way for me to make organic yogurt for my son; he eats it like champ but the prepackaged stuff is so expensive!
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robin, you must dig out that old yogurt maker so we can give it a whirl!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gin, I bet your little guy will love this. Let me know how it works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I knew you were going to say that!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Holly cow! (no pun intended) You really made yogurt in a crockpot! And it seemed liek it was really simple. I think I'll try this next weekend. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been reading about this and have been wanting to try to make my own yogurt. I have been hesitant to use the crock pot...but I think after reading this I will give it a try!
    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very interesting post.....I MIGHT try it, it's easy enough and I always have some frozen fruit to be added. BTW thanks for stopping by my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I make my own yogurt and found that by adding a an extra 1/2 cup or more of none fat dry milk you get a more substantial yougurt. More solids, but not more fat.
    It will still be just plain yogurt, but it can be made into any flavor you like or drained to make a curd cheese spread with chives.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Nana, I'll try that. It sounds like a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I find that when I leave my yogurt to incubate for 8+ hours, it gets quite sour and also much less thick. I now leave mine just 3-5 hours before I put it into the fridge. Works really nicely: thickened, and smooth-tasting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharla, that's a good suggestion to adjust the cooking time if the yogurt isn't the taste or consistency you like.

      Delete

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